Fashion Designer Noga Karpel and PrintPlace represent Feminity on a gown with 3D printed chained hands

Fashion designer Noga Karpel from Antwerp Fashion Institute, has recently worked with 3D printing service Printplace to represent feminity in its latest collection.

She focuses her entire work on feminity. Her latest collection is inspired by work of Louise Bourgeouis, a late French-American artist who explored the concept of feminist art. Her collection revolves around needlework, a craft which connects women over the history as it is passed down from one woman to another over generations.

 “In this collection, I wanted to use needlework and haute couture techniques to reconnect to traditional embroidering and crocheting, I wanted to reconnect to my grandmothers who used to make traditional garments. However, in the final silhouette of the collection, I wanted to challenge the boundaries between the traditional and the modern. I wanted to research how we could apply modern technology to create very detailed work while retaining that feeling of craftsmanship”, she explains.

 The Chained Hands Dress, Symbol of Femininity

Inspired by both Louise Bourgeouis’ Give or Take Sculpture and the 1920’s haute couture dresses of the theatre’s leading ladies, the concept of the Chained Hands Dress focused on dramatic and glamorized femininity.

Louise Bourgeouis’ Give or Take Sculpture, Tate and National Galleries of Scotland

The dress would be made out of hundreds of chained miniature sculptures of hands, all of them forming a chainmail garment. The dual concept of chained hands would emphasize female beauty, support and dependence throughout history, while also creating room for discussion about the struggles women have been facing throughout history.

Realizing hundreds of detailed miniature sculptures in a short time frame at the high quality known to haute couture fashion, was an incredible challenge. However, knowing Iris Van Herpen and Anouk Wipprecht’s work on 3D Printed wearables, Karpel decided to research whether 3D printing could help meet this challenge.

 “As a designer who is mainly focused on haute couture garments, stepping out of my comfort zone and trying out 3D Printing felt like a leap in the unknown. The concept of not being able to touch the material was so unsettling and I was looking for a way to combine my personal, artistic touch with the very detailed and ‘perfect’ 3D Printing.”

With PrintPlace by her sides, they “looked for feasible solutions that respected both timing and budget while achieving a very high quality.” “We shifted quite fast to Desktop SLA 3D Printing and we optimized build parameters and support placement to achieve a perfect balance between speed and quality”, Wesly Jacobs, cofounder and business Leader notes.

For me, as a designer, it was a very unique experience to combine the worlds of haute couture and 3D Printing,” Noga adds. “The level of detail and quality this technology could offer really surprised me. The combination of 3D Printing as a production technology with the more traditional craft of manually assembling the individual hand sculptures, resulted in the artistic feel I ultimately wanted to achieve. Following in the footsteps of great fashion designers such as Iris Van Herpen and Anouk Wipprecht, I’m already thinking about how I could take it one step further.”

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